What words pop in your head when I say, “I live in an old farmhouse”? If your list includes charming, cozy and peaceful, you’re right! Our old farmhouse IS charming, from the hand-pegged attic beams to the quirky angles (the front room floor slants because it was originally the front porch!) to the fairytale sandstone chimney (built with stones from a neighboring hill).
Twenty-three years is a long time to live in one house. When you’re in a place for that long, eclectic decor tends to happen on its own. Most everything in our house is either vintage, hand-me-down or handcrafted.
This is in our kitchen, which is, of course, the most-used room in the house. Don’t you love the old Varnado Cleaners sign? It hung on my father-in-law’s dry cleaning shop back in the day and makes a great backdrop for art pottery and sticks or whatever exotic plant David brings in! I love the clean, graphic look.
Don’t happen to have a vintage sign? Here’s a great tutorial to create your own!
Can you tell we love books?
That’s me at a leaving-for-college party for my daughter.
Our front room (the one with the sloping floor!) is home to a 12′ table, made by artist Kevin Harrington. Around it, Greg Harkins chairs–made with trees from his Mississippi woods. I’m crazy about pink as an accent color, so I especially love the table runner, stitched by a good friend in PA. The wooden bowl came from an arts market, the colorful elastic spools from a junk pile and the gorgeous glass shades from my mom. She used them around brass candlesticks–I use them to surround my soy/beeswax candles. I’ll write more about this table in a future post, as it’s been the literal centerpiece of our life as a family.
Here’s the art market wooden bowl again–this time with autumn pumpkins. Our middle daughter painted the vibrant tropical plant scene for David’s birthday.
My favorite thing: family and friends gathered around the table!
Next stop on our old farmhouse tour: our cozy front sitting room. A Baton Rouge artist made the coffee table (“decorated” with knitting needle jabs from one of our daughters when she was a chap), and the painting over the mantel is by folk artist Mary T Smith. When we moved in, the walls were covered with old cheesecloth-backed wallpaper. After tearing that off and removing lots (and lots) of tiny nails, we pickled the boards. One area had termite damage, which we chose to leave. It’s all part of the charm, right? A hodge podge of dishes, a sweet family photo and a French policeman’s cap live in the antique, glass-fronted cabinet (and yes, it’s a hand me down…)
What’s an old farmhouse without a comfy old chair? This one’s a hand me down from my aunt, topped with a pillow I made from a vintage tea towel, an old thrift store moving blanket and a cushion made of my favorite fabric in the world, French Fox. (I need, need, need more, so if you know where to buy this fabric, please let me know!) Do you see all the pink accents? Pink is so good with red, and since red’s my favorite color, I naturally use a lot of it. Oh–that Asian inspired lamp is another hand me down from my mom, and the McCoy pottery bowl holds rocks that we collected on Long Island and polished here on the farm.
Layers and layers of memories and love on this old farmhouse tour! It’s incredibly precious to be surrounded by objects that have such history, either MY history or someone else’s. Sometimes I just sit and look around the room, visually cataloging each object and remembering…How did that come to be part of my life? Who gave it to me? Where did I buy it/find it? Who has enjoyed it with me?
When you’ve collected objects over so many years, you notice that the colors and textures start to blend–everything works together and becomes the eclectic symphony of your life. It’s especially dear as you get older, when your children leave for college or work, to let your eyes and your mind wander over the physical reminders of a life well and joyfully lived.
What do you love about your home? Do you have an eclectic style of decorating?